Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Day on the Town

Since we are of the Chanukah celebrating sort, today we had our day wide open for a nice family outing. We are constantly on the lookout for nice things to do with the kids, and this worked out so well, I thought I'd share it with y'all. 
I come from the far flung shores of Michigan, so anytime we go to "The City" my eyes go all googley eyed, and my feet start doing a little dance. Big D. on the other hand grew up on the Big Bad Streets of Brooklyn, so to him, going to the City is phfffghhht. Just like that. To him, its just one big traffic jam.
How sad.
So it was thuper duper exciting when by some stroke of a miracle I convinced Big D. that we would take the kids on the subway to the City, and then head over to Roosevelt Island on a cable car, check out Lighthouse Park and head back home again. 
Thank goodness my kids have my Michiganian blood coursing through their little veins, because they had the jiggles all the way to 42nd Street. We all held tight to our buddies, while walking like completely dorky tourists, staring up at the huge skyscrapers. 
Except for Big D. of course. He was pretending he didn't know us.
I must tell you, when we go on a family trip, I have to walk a very fine line. See, I like to view the outing through the lens of a digital camera. It's just in my blood. One snap too many though,and whoops-I've lost my husband.  Anyhow, here's what I was able to snap while he wasn't paying attention:
I definitely want to come back here one day with Big D.
 I just didn't want to scar my kids for life as of today.
I thought these guys were brilliant little monsters. Dress up like Elmo so that your kid begs you to take a picture with him, then ask for a tip. How can you refuse?
Some of New York's Finest helping us out when we got off at waaaay the wrong subway stop. People were really friendly today!
I went a little crazy taking Skyline silhouette pictures- they are totally addicting...until you look at your pictures later on that night and realize that you have 26 of the exact same picture. 
View from the cable car to Roosevelt Island.
Today was the perfect day to go to- it was totally empty!
And on our way home...
Love, love, love Manhattan at night.
We'll be long as Big D. doesn't have  say in the matter.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

An Announcement...Whooo!

Remember singing that in day camp
"An announcement, whoo! An announcement, whoo!"  
No? I guess it was just me then....
Guys, I have to share something with you.
And NO, its not cookies!
I'm over-baked
Stick a toothpick in me and call me done
Who would have thunk it would happen to me. I thought I was heatproof. 
But I am burnt out
Can we please get some more baking cliche's in here? Its so much fun!
The egg shell that broke the camels back.
Anywaaaays....I am going to be going on a Bakation.
 Came up with that term myself, I did. You have to pay me a quarter to use it. But I guess there is no one else in this world who would actually take a bakation, so you're probably safe. You can keep your quarters.
Back to the matter at hand, in a perfect world, I would actually stop baking during my bakation. But I'm not sure if that is actually physically possible. So let's pretend I am taking a break from baking, and meanwhile, I'll post some super easy recipes for the general public.
Why do I get the feeling I just heard a collective sigh of relief?
Yes, you, Big D. I heard you all the way over here. 
Oh, and by the way, there may or may not be pictures accompanying the recipes. 
Just sayin.
So that's the plan of action, er-inaction, for the next few weeks.
And now, for your viewing pleasure....

Moving along with Hyper D's wedding preps, her bridal shower was today.
I've been wanting to do a bridal silhouette cake for ages, so when I saw the shower invitation, it was like a little birdie tapped me on my shoulder and told me to make a silhouette cake.
And my interpretation in cake:

See that cool cupcake tower? More on that in a few weeks...

Stay cool guys! Have an amazing week!

If you are new around here, and you haven't voted yet for the most amazing and awesome kosher blog (You know it!) then make sure to head over here to vote.

And if you are scratching your head saying, 
"Helloo, doesn't this lady realize its Chanuka in like two days.  Where are your Chanuka recipes??"
 Yes, I do in fact know this. So check out this recipe and this recipe, and voila: Chanuka  food!

Now, you can go have an amazing week :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Warm Mushroom and Frank Salad

Warm Mushroom and Frank Salad
(Concept adapted from Binah Magazine, July 25th 2011)

10-12 leaves romaine lettuce, shredded
1 colored pepper, diced
1 cucumber,diced
cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion,sliced
1-6 ounce carton button mushrooms, sliced
1-6 ounce carton baby portabella mushrooms, or 3 regular portabella mushrooms,sliced
handful of cremini or shitake mushrooms, sliced
4 hot dogs, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup duck sauce
1/2 cup oil
2-3 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onions. Saute until soft and transparent- about 8  minutes. Add mushrooms and hot dogs; saute another 10 minutes.  Set aside. Combine all dressing ingredients together and blend until smooth.  For individual serving plates: Line each plate with a handful of lettuce. Arrange diced peppers, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes on top. Top with warm mushroom mixture, and drizzle with dressing. Mushroom mixture can be made in advance and refrigerated until use- just warm before serving. Enjoy :) 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Caramel Poppers

Remember that time I waxed poetic about the beauty of Peanut Butter and Chocolate?
 Yeah, well I've got some sad news for you. 
I had no clue what I was talking about. 
Peanut butter chocolate chip muffins are nice. In a boring, snuggle up with a book on a rainy day kind of way. 
But these.Are.Not.Normal. Like fireworks in the middle of a rainbow while peacocks fly across the sky awesomely not normal. Seriously. I don't exaggerate about food.
 Its too serious of a subject matter. So let me paint a pretty picture for you:
Chewy brownie bite. 
In miniature: because I have scientifically proven that everything tastes better in miniature. (In scientific terms, its because the flavor to texture ratio is in perfect balance. Scientifically speaking of course.)
Right, so chewy brownie bite on the bottom.
Filled with my all-time favorite Peanut Butter Caramel.
Now we can stop right here, and you would be in absolute peanut butter chocolate bliss.
But if it is Peanut Butter Chocolate World Domination that you are aiming for, keep on going:
A swirl of light peanut butter cream.
Dipped in Chocolate.
And here we are. 
Absolute perfection. 
No wait, you need a glass of milk.
Ok. Now, we have absolute perfection.
Amen to that.

Peanut Butter Caramel Poppers                                                      makes 45 bite size poppers

Brownie Bite:
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup  flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Line 5 mini muffin tins with mini cupcake liners. Melt margarine in a small pot. Remove from heat; add sugar. Mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir. Add in cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder. Mix just until combined. Fill cupcake liners about 4/5 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, until set. Remove from oven, and cool slightly. If you have burn proof hands like me  (I know, its a gift. And it's genetic.) then quickly poke your thumb into each brownie bite to create a small well. IF you are a normal human being, you can use the back of a knife or the back of a children's medicine dropper. Set aside.

Peanut Butter Caramel
1 cup dark karo syrup (I have replaced this with light karo syrup, or pancake syrup in a pinch)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium flame, and stir until smooth.  Remove from flame. The caramel thickens as it cools, so if you plan on using this for ice cream or something else, refrigerate until cool. In this case, its easier to pour when its thin, so drop by spoonful into the little wells that you created on the brownie bites. Place in the freezer to cool completely. The caramel must be completely cool to touch before you pipe on the peanut butter cream, otherwise it will melt.

Peanut Butter Cream
6 cups powder sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk or soy milk

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, add additional milk; 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer to a large resealable bag and snip off the corner to pipe. Pipe a large swirl on top of each brownie, and return the brownie bites to the freezer to set. 

Chocolate Dip 
2 cups chocolate chips
2-3 tablespoons shortening

Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring half way through. Transfer to a tall glass. Dip the cold brownie bites and return to the tray to set.  If you want to be super cool and ultra fancy, you can use any extra caramel to drizzle over the tops. You can also melt some peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, and drizzle that on top. Since I am one hair short of ultra fancy, I skipped this step.

Here- you want a closer look?
Mmmmmmmm....absolute peanut butter and chocolate heaven.

Now go have yourself a nice day! 

Whoops, I almost forgot! To make my life a little more interesting, I'm in the running for "Best Kosher Food Blog" over at I've been hovering at seventh place for a while, so please be a dear, and boost my ego and go vote for me...pretty please?
Did I mention you guys are awesome?

Now go vote HERE.

I have alot of catching up to do so be sure to rally up your friends and vote!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mexican Style Couscous Salad

This was one of those recipe that started as an idea and kind of evolved into something wonderfully delicious. I was looking for a different kind of salad to make as a side dish and thought I would make some sort of rice salad. Beans and avocado go well with rice, so that was the plan. Then I made a rice casserole for supper and realized that I don't really like rice all that much. Which brought me to couscous. And that's what we have here:
Mexican Style Couscous Salad
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet yellow corn, drained
1 colored pepper,diced small
1 avocado, diced
1 small red onion, diced small (optional)

2 tablespoons oil
3-4 tablespoons vinegar
3-4 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Pour couscous into a small saucepan. Fill with water, about 1-2 inches above the couscous. Bring to a boil. Turn flame to low, and cover the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed, and the couscous is soft. Drain and rinse. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl. Add the beans, corn, pepper and onion. (The onion gives the salad a very strong "oniony" flavor. Big D. loved it, but I would probably skip it next time or use scallions instead.) Do not add the avocado yet if you are preparing the salad in advance- add it right before serving. I kept the dressing ingredients simple here- no need for a heavy dressing, since the vegetables add amazing flavor and texture. Toss the couscous with the dressing ingredients and taste. When I made this salad, I actually just put in a splash of this and that. I tried to estimate the measurements for you, but its really a taste and see kind of salad. Enjoy!
Don't forget to add the avocado right before you serve it! I took these pics the day before I served it, hence the missing avocado.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cookie Dough Trifles-UPDATED

Wow, what a foggy dreary Monday. No witty repartee today. The fog uninspires me. Blew my creativity right out of the park.
I'm tired and its only Monday morning. That doesn't bode well for the 
rest of the week, does it? So don't mind me. I'll just leave you with some pictures in honor of this lovely Monday Morning, and be on my my cup of coffee.
Pinned Image
Pinned Image
Pinned Image
Not going to argue with that.

Oh, you want a recipe? Funny you should ask. Ahem. Well here's the thing. 
 I forgot to upload my pictures for today recipe :( I can tell it you was delicious, that I can. 
So check back later on today, and I shall upload it then. 
Until then......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And....we're back:

Cookie Dough Trifles
Mini of course- I wouldn't have a trifle any other way.

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa 
  • 1/2 cup  flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, add in the sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder; mix until thoroughly combined, taking care not to overmix. Pour into a greased 8'' square pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely. Once cool, slice into 1/2 inch cubes, transfer to a resealable bag and freeze until use. 

Cookie Dough Flavored Filling
Adapted from LoveandOliveOil
3/4 cups light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups non-dairy whipped topping (not whipped) or Rich's Whip
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the brown sugar, flour and salt in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup whipped topping. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. In another small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining whipped topping.  Once the brown sugar mixture thickens, remove from heat, and quickly whisk a spoonful of hot mixture into the egg yolks in order to temper the eggs. Return the entire egg mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for one minute, until it has a pudding-like texture, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the margarine and vanilla. Cool completely. Refrigerate until use. 

1 cup non-dairy whipped topping, Rich's Whip
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip the topping until stiff peaks form. Add in sugar and vanilla and whip until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until use. 

To assemble:

Cover the bottom of 6 ice cream glasses with the brownie cubes. Spoon a large spoonful of cookie dough flavored filling on top of the brownie cubes. At this point, you can refrigerate the trifles semi-assembled. Transfer the whipped topping to a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip, or a ziploc bag with a top in the corner. Before serving, pipe a large swirl of whipped cream on top. I happened to have had extra eggless cookie dough in the fridge for garnish, but really that is not so vital for the taste. It would probably be cute to top it with a baked chocolate chip cookie as well.

Hope the rest of your week is fantastic! 

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